Introducing your new baby to your toddler may seem like a daunting experience, especially with many blogs speaking of your toddler regressing and jealousy being part of the process of your toddler adjusting to the new addition to the family. Here are some of the things that helped me with this process.
1. Don’t wait until the baby arrives
Speak to your toddler about the new baby’s arrival once safely past the three month stage of your pregnancy. We spoke to our toddler about him being a “big brother” and had him attend antenatal appointments so that he could hear his younger brother’s heartbeat and see him on the screen during my ultrasound appointments. This lead to him understanding that a live human being was living inside mummy’s tummy and would be coming out soon!
2. Speak to the baby whilst in the womb
Let all who are in your home environment speak to your baby, our son saw his father speaking to my tummy reciting a prayer and he quickly followed suit. My toddler spoke to his brother everyday and frequently recounted seeing his younger brother on the screen at the ultrasound appointment and hearing his brother’s heartbeat at midwife appointments. Speaking to your baby whilst in the womb is a vital and essential step in the bonding process. Click here http://bit.ly/1tDfBEJ for info on babies hearing in the womb.
3.Let your toddler be your no.1 helper
Involve your toddler in simple tasks concerning the baby like choosing clothing for the new baby, setting up the nursery e.g. placing the teddy bears in the cot in preparation for baby’s arrival. Always thank and acknowledge the good that your toddler does as they really love you as their parent(s) and want to be found pleasing. Positive acknowledgement builds confidence and is reassuring in the process of your toddler adapting to a new baby entering into the family.
Once baby arrives continue to have your toddler help by assisting you in changing the baby, for instance, ask them to get the nappy for you or items of clothing when dressing the baby.
4. Lighten up on routine
Things may get a little off track in the early days of the new baby arriving, don’t beat yourself up about this just get back on track as soon as possible. It is likely you will have to put new practices in place that incorporate both your toddler and newborn e.g. feeding your newborn whilst reading a bedtime story to your toddler, trying to get them to take a nap at the same time so that you can get some much needed rest also.
5. Having one-to-one time together with your toddler
This is extremely important to reinforce that they are loved and can have one-to-one time with “Mum.” Taking turns to put your toddler to bed between Mum and Dad helps to give you a much needed break. On nights when Dad or older siblings put your toddler to bed you can enjoy some one-to-one time with the new baby.
For more tips on how to successfully manage the transitional phases of introducing your toddler to your new baby view the video below.
If your an experienced parent please share your tips with us in the comments section.
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